Indiana legislature passes near-total abortion ban

Indiana’s Republican-controlled legislature on Friday passed a bill banning abortion at all stages of pregnancy, with limited exceptions.

The measure passed the State House on Friday afternoon in a vote of 62 to 38, with nine Republicans voting against. Late Friday night, the state Senate followed suit with a 28-19 vote.

He is now heading to the office of Republican Governor Eric Holcomb, who has not yet indicated whether he will sign him, despite calling himself “pro-life”. If it does, it will go into effect on September 15. But even if he decides to veto it, the legislation could still become law if lawmakers in both houses overturn it in a majority vote.

“We have the opportunity to make progress in protecting the sanctity of life, and that’s exactly what we will do,” Holcomb tweeted after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down federal protection of the right to abortion in June.

The state is the first in the nation to pass new anti-abortion legislation since the Supreme Court ruling. The State House was packed with protesters as lawmakers debated in the special session.

Protesters packed the Indiana State House in an attempt to stop the legislature from passing an abortion ban.

Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Indiana has seven abortion clinics that serve approximately 1.3 million women of childbearing age in the state — although, since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, many more people seeking abortions come from elsewhere in the state.

Indiana recently made national headlines when a 10-year-old girl from Ohio traveled to the state for an abortion. She had been repeatedly raped and had become pregnant. But she could no longer have an abortion in her own state, because Ohio — like a number of other states — immediately enacted restrictive laws banning most abortions.

The Indiana bill allows abortions in cases of rape and incest, which were included despite objections from some Republican lawmakers.

But the fact that these exceptions exist should not make the bill any less extreme.

Although abortions resulting from rape and incest are often among the most tragic of circumstances, they represent only a very small percentage of all abortions. Focusing on these two categories can cover states that have bans with these exceptions.

And even where these exceptions exist, it is often incredibly difficult for pregnant women to meet the standards required to qualify.

The Indiana legislature’s swift passage of this near-total abortion ban comes just after voters in the conservative state of Kansas decisively rejected an amendment that would have removed protections for access to the abortion of the state constitution.

“The extremist lawmakers who forced this bill through a special session clearly don’t care what their constituents want or need,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju. “It’s appalling that they go to such lengths to prevent people from accessing abortion care, and they should be ashamed of themselves. Governor Holcomb has the opportunity to veto this legislation and protect the reproductive freedom of millions of Hoosiers – he should seize it.

The Huffington Gt

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